Mello-Stark - SE Labs (Proposal)

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POSSE - Extended Team Instructor Support Grant

OpenFE – Developing Faculty Expertise and Creating Learning Materials for Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software


Name and Contact Information

Suzanne Mello-Stark


This summer I am working with our newly created POSSE GNOME Accessibility team to develop twelve FOSSE Humanitarian labs to be used in a junior-level software engineering course. The current course is project-based and leads students through building a complete product from design to deployment using the agile method. The additional labs will educate students on the benefits and rewards of working on humanitarian software projects. The labs also enhance student knowledge of open source software development tools.

Target Course and Audience

CSC305 – Software Engineering – 40+ students This course is run in both Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 terms. Students in this course are at the sophomore or junior level. The students have taken basic programming courses (CS 1, CS 2) but are not very familiar with software design or development practices. This is the first time the majority of the students work in groups (3-4) on a software project.

Learning Activities

Here are the first six labs:
1. VM Set up
2. Getting Connected with the HFOSS Community
3. Building a Cloned Module
4. GIT 101
5. Writing a Good Bug Report
6. Making Changes to the code in a development branch/testing a patch

The first labs set up the student environment, introduce HFOSS, and serve as a foundation for the next labs. The next set of labs (TBD) focus on finding, reporting and fixing accessibility issues with the GNOME music application (HFOSS).

Expected Learning Outcomes

Specific learning outcomes will be developed for each lab. Overall, students are expected to be able to:
• Join and become an active participant in future HFOSS projects
• Set up a working HFOSS development environment
• Apply open source tools to closed and open development environments

Development Schedule

The POSSE GNOME Accessibility team meets every two weeks. We (Alex Mezei, Mohsen Doroodchi and I) each create a lab. At the end of each two-week period, we trade labs to be tested for multiple platforms, for a student audience and to add improvements. Each lab will include learning outcomes, student and faculty instructions as well as a grading rubric. Stoney Jackson, Heidi Ellis and Joanmarie Diggs are supporting our efforts. We will share all labs developed with the POSSE team.


In the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 terms, I will create and institute pre/post student content knowledge surveys to all 40+ students.

The surveys will be divided up by easy questions (30%), medium questions (30%) and hard questions (40%).

I will also collect sample assignment data from each new lab.

Funding Request

Requested Summer Support funding for lab development: $2000

Requested Travel Funds for two trips. $2500

1. SIGCSE 2015 Workshop. March 4-7 2015 Kansas City, MO $1300 Flight: $700 Hotel $600 Meals $100

2. ICER Conference Paper. August 9-15 Omaha, Nebraska $1200 Flight: $600 Hotel: $600 Meals: $100

Requested Implementation funding for Fall 2014: $1500

Requested Implementation funding for Spring 2015: $1500

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